Attorney general testifies on protest response, high profile prosecutions » Attorney General William Barr faced lawmakers on Capitol Hill Tuesday. He defended the federal law enforcement response to civil unrest.
BARR: Obviously, as I’ve said from the beginning, these peaceful protests in many places are being hijacked by a very hard core of instigators, violent instigators.
And he pushed back against Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee … who said the administration is quashing dissent.
Democrats also accused Barr of carrying out instructions from President Trump when he reduced the recommended sentence of Trump ally Roger Stone.
Congressman Hank Johnson …
JOHNSON: You think the American people don’t understand that you were carrying out Trump’s will?
BARR: I had not discussed my sentencing recommendation with anyone at the White House.
Barr also defended his decision to drop charges against former national security adviser Michael Flynn … after wrongdoing within the FBI came to light.
BARR: The cases that are cited, the Stone case and Flynn case were both cases where I determined that some intervention was necessary to rectify the rule of law, to make sure people are treated the same.
Barr suggested both men had been prosecuted more aggressively because of their connections to Trump.
Trump administration won’t accept new DACA applications » The Trump administration will deny new applications for so-called “Dreamers” and cut DACA renewals from two years to one. That despite reversals in court that kept the Obama-era program alive. WORLD’s Leigh Jones reports.
LJ: The Supreme Court ruled last month that President Trump did not follow proper procedures in trying to end the DACA program. But it left the door open for the president to try again. And the administration’s new rewrite of the program signals that he’s doing just that.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program currently shields about 700,000 immigrants from deportation. All were brought into the country illegally as children. President Obama went around Congress to create the program by executive order in 2012.
New applications were put on hold when President Trump moved to end DACA in 2017. But two-year renewals have continued.
A federal judge in Maryland ruled earlier this month that DACA should be restored to original form. The White House fully expects legal challenges to Tuesday’s announcement.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Leigh Jones.
Trump to receive nomination in NC » President Trump will accept the GOP presidential nomination in North Carolina after all.
The Republican National Convention was originally scheduled to take place in Charlotte beginning August 24th. But when North Carolina’s Democratic Governor Roy Cooper could not guarantee a crowd would be allowed to attend … the party moved the convention to Jacksonville. But the GOP had to cancel those plans last week amid a surge of COVID-19 cases.
There still won’t be a crowd in Charlotte, but many Republican delegates will attend.
TRUMP: I think we did the right thing, and I’m really happy that we’re going to be having a piece of it at least, and a very important piece, in North Carolina.
No word yet on the exact date or the location where Trump will accept the nomination.
Florida, Texas report positive coronavirus trends » Florida on Tuesday reported a new single-day record for coronavirus-related deaths, 191. The health department also reported more than 9,000 new cases.
But Governor Ron DeSantis said there is some good news to report.
DESANTIS: Statewide, we’ve seen a decline in visits for COVID-like illness to emergency departments. We’ve seen a stabilization or a decline in the COVID hospital census.
Just over 9,000 Floridians are now hospitalized with the virus … down from 9,500 roughly one week ago. The Republican governor said the recent rise in the rate of positive tests has also leveled off.
And Texas Governor Greg Abbott said Tuesday that the surge is also slowing in his state.
ABBOTT: That is happening because of one very important reason, and that’s because so many people in this region, they have become aware of the dangers of COVID-19, and they’ve been acting in safer ways.
On Sunday, Texas reported about 4,300 new cases … the lowest total since the July 4th weekend. The positivity rate has also been declining for more than a week.
Fauci responds to Trump Twitter jab » The White House’s top infectious disease expert again defended himself Tuesday from another jab by President Trump.
The president on Monday retweeted a post from the Twitter account for a podcast hosted by former White House adviser Steve Bannon. It said—quote—“Dr. Fauci has misled the American public on many issues, but in particular, on dismissing hydroxychloroquine”.
Fauci told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos … he doesn’t pay attention to the tweets.
FAUCI: I just will continue to do my job no matter what comes out because I think it’s very important. We’re in the middle of a crisis. This is what I do. This is what I trained for my entire professional life and I’ll continue to do it.
STEPHANOPOULOS: To the charge you’ve been misleading the American public?
FAUCI: I have not been misleading the American public under any circumstances.
President Trump also retweeted a post that promoted a conspiracy theory that the use of hydroxychloroquine is being “suppressed” in America “to keep deaths high so the economy can be shut down ahead of the election.”
The Trump administration’s own Food and Drug Administration recently withdrew an order that allowed the drug’s use for COVID-19.
In a statement, the FDA said in “a large, randomized clinical trial” hydroxychloroquine “showed no benefit” for treating the illness.
Fauci says Marlins outbreak could endanger MLB season » The Miami Marlins have postponed all games through Sunday as more players test positive for COVID-19. WORLD’s Anna Johansen has that story.
AJ: Four more Marlins players tested positive for COVID-19 Tuesday … for a total of 15.
The outbreak had already forced the postponement of several games. And it has renewed questions about MLB’s attempts to conduct a season outside of a bubble environment … like the safezone the NBA is trying to create in Orlando.
Dr. Anthony Fauci cautioned that the outbreak “could put [the season] in danger.”
Commissioner Rob Manfred told the MLB Network … he still believes the league “can keep people safe and continue to play.”
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Anna Johansen.